How I used an apprenticeship to become a Digital Marketer

“Now I know the end goal when creating content. This has led to an increase in sales, and we can track that.”

Rebecca graduated from her marketing Apprenticeship with Working Knowledge in April 2021. We talk to her about what she learnt in her journey to become a digital marketer, her key achievements in her role, how her dyslexia was taken into account, and her plans for the future.

How did you begin your marketing Apprenticeship?

I had just moved to Bristol and was looking for marketing roles as I’d done some marketing unofficially in a past job and had really enjoyed it. But not having any direct marketing experience on my CV really set me back when applying for jobs. I was approached by Jo (Working Knowledge’s operations manager) via Indeed and she introduced me to the Academy.

I'd heard of apprenticeships before, but I hadn't really explored it as an option as I thought they were for more vocational careers. But once I learnt more about the apprenticeship and the programme as a whole, I was sold! It was a perfect opportunity for me to get into marketing whilst learning on the job. 

What have you learnt about marketing ?

When I joined the programme, I knew how to post on social media and produce content, but I didn't really know why or how to reach my audience. The apprenticeship taught me how to reach your target audience and what content to provide them with at each stage of their buying journey.

The weekly expert webinars have been hugely beneficial because you learn about so many different areas, for example: Facebook ads, CRMs, Google ads, SEO (search engine optimisation) and the list could go on. These are all areas I didn't really have any direct experience with, but after the expert webinar, I could go away, do some research and apply it to the business.

How have you applied your marketing knowledge to the business?

What you learn on the apprenticeship you then apply to your business and that’s what was so great. We've definitely seen an increase in engagement on our social media channels and an increase in website visitors because I now know the end goal when creating and posting content. This has led to an increase in sales, and we can now track that.

We created a new website last year which was a big task, but it was great to implement the things I’ve learnt, for example setting up and using Google Analytics and adding bits of code to the website. 

I’ve also created an analytical dashboard, which displays the number of website visitors to different pages, social media engagement, weekly leads and sales etc and we look at this every week as a team. This is great because by keeping track of it, we can find out the types of social media posts that work and that we need to produce more of, and those that don’t get the same engagement.

How did you find the learning?

I started off with in-person masterclasses where we would meet in Bristol each month, but they moved online a few months into the apprenticeship due to the pandemic. The online classes worked just as well and I really looked forward to them as our group guided and supported each other. Glenda, our trainer, was brilliant as she brought lots of experience. We could ask her any marketing question and relate it to our own business specifically. I also had my coach, another expert who's got decades of marketing experience on hand, to help at each step.

When it came to the assessment side of the apprenticeship, I had loads of support and guidance. We had revision sessions and webinars before exams so we could make sure we understood the content fully, as well as one-to-one coaching sessions for our portfolios and end-point assessment. Creating my portfolio of work wasn't easy, but Nathan helped me through the process. There was always someone on hand at each step of the way to help me get the best result and it worked as I got a distinction! I put a lot of work in, but I couldn’t have done it without all the trainers and coaches. 

How was your experience of the assessments? 

I have relatively mild dyslexia, which has set me back within my previous education. However, Working Knowledge was extremely supportive throughout the apprenticeship. I received extra time in exams and my trainer and coach were aware so they could understand that I might take a little bit longer to process information.

Writing up my portfolio with dyslexia was quite daunting, but it was honestly fine. It was one of the biggest pieces of writing I’ve done, but I’d say it was one of the most simple thanks to the guidance I received from Nathan. I definitely wouldn't be put off by any parts of the apprenticeship if you have dyslexia or any other kind of difficulty with reading or writing. You’re supported every step of the way. 

What have been your highlights throughout the process?

One is definitely meeting so many other brilliant apprentices also doing the programme. I've really learned from my peers and we’ve helped and supported each other through the apprenticeship. Also, the weekly expert webinars were really insightful and opened up my eyes to all of the different elements of marketing as well as lots of the different tools and technologies out there. 

I also really enjoyed the final steps of the apprenticeship when it all came together. The portfolio was a long process, but having that sense of achievement at the end was fantastic. And then of course the distinction was the main highlight of it all!

So what's next now you are a qualified digital marketer?

Having a marketing qualification on my CV with 1-2 years experience in a marketing role will stand me in great stead. I’m looking forward to continuing to implement my new marketing knowledge and continue to grow and develop the marketing within the business. There’s also the option for more qualifications with Working Knowledge at a higher level which I’m definitely interested in.

I’m excited to see where my career in marketing takes me! 

More apprentice stories: 

Sophie Pontpoddian on the first four months  

Kim Slater on how her impression of apprenticeships has changed

Arran Simpson on being given a chance to step up with a growing business


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